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1961 - 1963 F100 Unibody 1961, 1962 and 1963 Ford F100 Unibody trucks

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Old 11-23-2009, 03:26 PM
madcitymike madcitymike is offline
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63 front end upgrades?

I'm a 60's Ford truck newb, but am very familiar with 70's Fords, so hopefully some of that will carry over, but essentially I am helping out a buddy who just picked up a 63 F100. It's an old school ice cream truck with a convertable canvas top over the cab, no doors, and a low profile freezer box tucked between the flare side fenders instead of a bed. Right now the steering gear is stripped so it doesn't steer. I've done a lot of 4x4 fab and modification so we don't necessarily need bolt on upgrades, but essentially since the steering gear has to get replaced, is there a P/S upgrade from a newer truck that will work? Looking at other posts, it looks like if this were a 65 or 66 truck it would be a no brainer, but I'm not seeing much for options to upgrade this 63. At the same time, disk brakes would be nice and going to TIB would be a nice upgrade from the leaf sprung monobeam. Is there a better option at this point other than welding in the front end of a newer truck? Since the bed is a custom job freezer instead would it make any sense to just try to put the bodywork from the 63 onto a newer complete frame? I keep hearing reference to a unibody for this era of Ford trucks. What does that signify? Did they actually have true unibody trucks back then? My buddies truck has a real frame.

-Mike
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by madcitymike View Post
I'm a 60's Ford truck newb, but am very familiar with 70's Fords, so hopefully some of that will carry over, but essentially I am helping out a buddy who just picked up a 63 F100. It's an old school ice cream truck with a convertable canvas top over the cab, no doors, and a low profile freezer box tucked between the flare side fenders instead of a bed. Right now the steering gear is stripped so it doesn't steer. I've done a lot of 4x4 fab and modification so we don't necessarily need bolt on upgrades, but essentially since the steering gear has to get replaced, is there a P/S upgrade from a newer truck that will work? Looking at other posts, it looks like if this were a 65 or 66 truck it would be a no brainer, but I'm not seeing much for options to upgrade this 63. At the same time, disk brakes would be nice and going to TIB would be a nice upgrade from the leaf sprung monobeam. Is there a better option at this point other than welding in the front end of a newer truck? Since the bed is a custom job freezer instead would it make any sense to just try to put the bodywork from the 63 onto a newer complete frame? I keep hearing reference to a unibody for this era of Ford trucks. What does that signify? Did they actually have true unibody trucks back then? My buddies truck has a real frame.

-Mike
Hey Mike,
There are all kinds of options depending on how much money he wants to spend. There is a bolt-on power rack & pinion kit for the straight axle that runs around $700+. Disc brake kits are also available for the straight axle. I've also heard of installing a power gear box from a toyota but not sure which one.

If he wants to change to independent front suspension, he could install the crossmember from an 03 or newer Crown Vic and get power rack & pinion plus big disc brakes. Do a search of the forum. Several guys have done this.

Another option is a custom crossmember using all suspension components from a Dodge Dakota. This is a nice setup too. You can search for that too.

As for fabbing in twin-i-beam or frame swapping, personally I think that would be a step backwards for a variety of reasons.

Hope that helps get you started....


Oh....the "unibody" was built by Ford from 61-63. The cab & bed were joined together but it still mounted to a full frame. It was sorta like an El Camino.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:33 AM
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Mike, No later model up grades for pre-Twins, sorry. Don't know all I know about those trucks, but does it have 5 or 8 wheel lugs? There were Good Humor ice cream trucks that were similar as what you describe. I don't know the first year for them.

The calls for a Number Dummy response.




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Old 11-24-2009, 11:50 AM
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Check out the first issue of True Blue Ford Trucks Magazine. They did a story on the Good Humor ice cream trucks.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:39 PM
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Theres a company in CA called "No Limit" and they offer a complete weld in front clip that has discs and power steering...its a bit pricey though.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:39 PM
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